Round 2 - Pick 43 - Alabama S Roman Harper - 6'0, 197, 4.48 40
Appears to be the kind of aggressive, intimidating strong safety that this coaching staff was looking for in Dallas S Keith Davis, who the Saints did not get after the Cowboys matched his offer sheet. Harper is a smart football and was the defensive quarterback for the Crimson Tide. Is an enforcer-type and is much better in run support than pass coverage. Harper is not the biggest or fastest safety but seems to have a solid amount of intangibles to go with plenty of collegiate experience. Harper was dependable and durable over 38 consecutive starts. Harper didn't run at the Combine because of a minor hamstring injury, but ran a 4.50 40 at his Pro Day, where he recorded at 34" vertical, a 9'8" broad jump, a 4.34 shuttle and a 7.02 three-cone drill. He also lifted 225 19 times at the Combine.
A high-school quarterback, Harper will be forever remembered for his daring tackle and forced fumble in the Alabama-Tennessee game in October 05. The Tide won the game 6-3 only after Harper torpedoed himself into 270-pound fullback Cory Anderson, who was steam rolling into the end zone. Harper's jarring hit shot the ball out of the back of the end zone. Alabama took over with five minutes remaining and drove down the field for the winning field goal.
Though he lacks measurables, some scouts consider him very underrated and despite the Saints' depth at the position, Harper has a shot to contribute as a rookie. It should be noted that the Saints overlooked many other logical prospects, including Miami WR Sinorice Moss who went the very next to the Giants, Ohio State CB Ashton Youboty, Michigan DT Gabe Watson, Georgia TE Leonard Pope, USC S Darnell Bing, Auburn T Marcus McNeill, Texas DT Rodrique Wright and Iowa LB Abdul Hodge.